Retail Executive

JAN-FEB 2018

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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data and the increasing sophistication of analytic algo- rithms threaten to undermine individual privacy. RADICAL TRANSPARENCY: Technological developments mean that in the not-too- distant future, every aspect of a business could be fully in the public eye. DEMOGRAPHICS 4 RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS 5 SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS: The U.S. population is growing and changing, becom- ing an older and more multicultural society. The global population is also increasing, and the millennial gener- ation is filling out the workforce. NEW APPROACHES TO HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: The cost of healthcare and a greater understanding of the determinants of poor health are placing a greater emphasis on prevention in addition to treatment. As a result, there has been an explosion in digital healthcare innovation and changes in lifestyle approaches. SELF- AND COMMUNITY RELIANCE: New models of self- and community reliance may flour- ish as a result of greater access to digital platforms, growth in distributed manufacturing, and the rise of the sharing economy, with the potential to distance people from brands. How this trend will unfold is un- certain, but its impact will be fundamental to retail's health over the next two decades. EDUCATION REVOLUTION: The educational model that prevailed in the United States for decades is rapidly changing. There is a wide- spread feeling that education is no longer preparing students adequately for the world but little agreement on how it should change. At the same time, technolo- gy is enabling new forms of teaching delivery, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), that are making education more widely accessible and affordable. TIME POVERTY: Time poverty is a growing concern for Americans, who work longer hours than citizens of many other coun- tries. This influences many other retail-related trends such as pressure for greater convenience, online shop- ping, delivery-on-demand, and ubiquitous shopping. DECLINE IN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Ecosystems provide essential goods and services that sustain life — from the purification of air and water to the provision of food, fuel, and fiber. Although gener- ally not valued or factored into investment decisions, industries such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, or cos- metics could not exist without them. WATER INSECURITY: More water is being used for agriculture, industry, en- ergy generation, and in-home uses as population grows and globalization increases. Freshwater is becoming scarcer and increasingly expensive in certain regions, which will necessitate changes in usage and conserva- tion in both industrial and household contexts, while floods are increasingly common elsewhere. ENERGY TRANSFORMATION: The U.S. energy system is transitioning in response to multiple factors including energy security, increasing demand, cost, safety, advances in technology, and the need to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Volatile energy costs will have profound impacts on business, both directly and indirectly. COPING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE: Global governments and organizations are likely to fo- cus even more on reducing carbon emissions and will place a greater emphasis on adapting and developing climate resilient models. POLITICS & ECONOMICS 6 GEOPOLITICAL INSTABILITY: Today's retail supply chains are global in nature, mean- ing that even localized natural, humanitarian, and political disasters can influence the raw material ex- traction, production, and transportation of products around the world. CIRCULAR ECONOMY: The circular economy is an integrated industrial sys- tem inspired by the natural world, in which waste from one process provides the input for another process. In that way, nothing is discarded. For retail, applying this system typically means finding new uses for products and materials that would otherwise be discarded. R RESOURCE SCARCITY: Many key natural resources are becoming scarce and expensive. An increase in global interconnectedness means that shocks can quickly ripple throughout sup- ply chains, causing price spikes and volatility. Govern- ments and businesses will likely continue to struggle to secure continuous supplies of key resources and are developing alternatives where possible. RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 13

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